Jul 15, 2008

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You—Whether You Like It or Not

From time to time I get forwarded these sappy personal questionnaire thingies, wherein you are supposed to answer each personal question, erase the previous answers, and type in your own—then subject it to all you hapless friends who probably neither care nor have the time to do it, much less read yours. So, only if you are bored, only if you have a sort of voyeuristic instinct (which I definitely do) should you read the following. But, these are my honest, honest answers.

Thank you,



1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:00 am, after a restless night, spent half beside my husband and half with my five-year-old, comforting her

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds! You could always sell them and buy buckets of pearls.

3. What two things do you always have with you? My M.A.C. Chili lipstick (the perfect red for a red-haired chick) and my key wallet

4. What is your favorite TV show? Last season I loved both Ugly Betty and Samantha Who? This year, I think I’ll take a break. I like movies best anyway.
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Plain yoghurt with organic jelly mixed in, or my homemade granola with whole milk, or two eggs and homemade flaxseed bread toast, or sometimes, nothing, but always accompanied by a frothy, hot, homemade cappuccino (we eat well around my house)

6. What is your favorite book? Crescent, by Diana Abu Jaber

7. What is your middle name? Merritt (my mother’s maiden name—cool, huh?)

8. What food do you dislike? Raw shellfish, except for oysters
9. What is your favorite CD? Can’t narrow it down. Can only say “Current favorite genre,” and that would now be, Middle-Eastern pop or ethnic fusion

10. What type of car do you drive? 2003 Toyota Tacoma (nicknamed, “Toz”), straight-drive, in cute gold color. Very simple transportation that gets good gas mileage and is useful at hauling stuff. Hubby drives a pretty, white Mercedes Benz E-320 (nicknamed, “E”), and on lucky days, I get to drive it. I still cannot figure out what most of the buttons do.
11. Favorite sandwich? Sushi
12. What characteristic do you despise? A refusal to accept responsibility for one’s actions, especially the bad ones (e.g., someone cuts you off dangerously in traffic, you honk to warn them, and they flip you the finger)
13. Favorite item of clothing? My black, cotton yoga unitard, which I am wearing now, having just returned from yoga class. If I could get away with it, I’d live in it!
14. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Turkey
15. What color is your bathroom? Downstairs, a kind of funky light teal with brown accents. Upstairs, a bright white with purple and gold accents.
16.Favorite brand of clothing? Target, on sale. Also love Ross Dress for Less and Kohl’s. Now, if I had tons of moolah, I’d buy everything at Anthropologie.
17. Where would you retire to? The mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, my childhood home. But would not complain if I got to live half a year in Asheville and half a year right here in sunny, casual, Ventura, California.
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I turned 46 a couple of weeks ago. It was uneventful—I got less presents and cards that perhaps ever in my life—HOWEVER, my little girl made some nice artwork for me (she’s quite the artist) and my hubby allowed me to pick out a new light fixture for the dining room, replacing the skanky, dorm-reject one we’ve had since we bought this house. The new one is GORGIE—it’s made from 300 pieces of stained glass, done in an upside down dome, in colors of yellow and purple and green and blue—just my style!

19. Farthest place you are sending this? Nowhere—I don’t like to pester my friends.

21. Whom do you least expect to send this back to you? – No one

22. Person you expect to send it back first? C’mon—this is getting tedious!

23. Favorite saying? “Frustration is the compost from which the mushrooms of creativity grow.” I quote myself.
24. When is your birthday? I alluded to it above, but will admit, it was July 17. I am a Cancer (and a Tiger, by Chinese astrology)
25. Are you a morning person or a night person? NIGHT

26. What is your shoe size? 7.5. When I lived in Japan, my feet were considered ginormous (a size 24.5 over there), but here, I am just average.

27. Pets? A shelter-rescue American Eskimo dog (eskie) named, “Kiko,” a five-year-old daughter, named “Jaclyn,” and a cute but thoroughly high-maintenance hubby who swears he is not, named, “Brian.” Oh wait, this question is about pets, not kids.

28. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut, a ballerina, a model, a singer, an artist—the usual assortment of glamorous and impossible-to-attain jobs.

29. How old are you today? 46. I look 46 in the face—every sag and wrinkle, but I have the body of a 28-year-old. Lest you think I am tetched in the head, I do work hard for it, practicing yoga at least three times a week and running around 10 miles a week. I’d like to start training with weights, too. I am almost back to my figure from before I got preggers, six years ago, and it has not been easy. (Après-baby weight when you are in your 40s does not come off easily, contrary to what celebrities would make you think.

30. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate. After that, definitely caramel.

31. What is your favorite flower? Peonies. Big, fat, showy, unafraid, gorgeous peonies.

32. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? The day my five-year-old goes back to school for the fall. It’s been a L*O*N*G summer. September 5.
33 What is the last thing you ate? Assorted cooked sushi rolls, half of a cucumber dipped in soy sauce and three yummy sandwich cream cookies from Trader Joe’s (hey, at least they were healthy, all-natural naughty cookies!)
34. What are you listening to right now? My five-year-old’s quiet groans on the potty as she takes a dump. But just realized how quiet it was and turned on Transglobal Underground.

35. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Crimson
36. How is the weather right now? Gorgeous, cool, breezy, cloudless, around 70 degrees, dry—simply perfect. I am sad to say, it is the same weather as this pretty much nine months out of the year here in Ventura, California. If you think you might hate me—wait, no one can afford to live here. And people’s manners are nowhere nearly as nice as they are in North Carolina, my home.
37. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My brother, Louis, who is taking care of my 87-year-old father. My father is doing much better since his hospitalization a few months ago.
38. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes, I am very fond of Joi Kelley and her family and her friends and we will most assuredly be friends for the rest of my life. I just don’t get to see her very often, living 3,000 miles away as I do.

39. Favorite soft drink? Reed’s All-natural Ginger Brew. Had a wonderful soda recently, though, it was a cane-sugar sweetened pomegranate soda—not sure of the brand—YUM!
40. Favorite restaurant? Tatsukichi, a yakitori restaurant unlike any other, located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Second would be Fox in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan, where you get the best crab shabu-shabu, perhaps my favorite food in the world (their Kobe beef cooked on a hot stone is also SUPERB—like butter!). In the U.S., my favorite is a dive in Thai Town in Los Angeles, called The Palms. Naturally, it’s a Thai restaurant, but is just like eating in Thailand and the service is spectacular and the food is reasonable if not cheap and they always, always have an Elvis impersonator performing live. Too fun!
41. Hair color? Dark red. No, it is not natural, but it should be because my heart is the heart of a natural redhead. It just didn’t work out that way. However, I am fair-skinned and can pretty much pull it off. Just today I got a compliment from a stranger about how pretty my hair is. Thanks go to my hair-stylist, who is the best one I have ever had—she is a genius.
42. Siblings? Three older sisters (two are professors!), and one older brother. I did so much damage to my mother coming out (a transverse lay) that my mom could not nor did she want to ever have another, despite the Catholic no-birth-control thing.
43.Favorite day of the year? Sure, why not? Christmas. With a child to share the joy, it truly is fun.

44. What was your favorite toy as a child? Anything crafty—that allowed me to create some sort of artsy something or other. Especially remember a decoupage kit where I made a wood pocketbook.
45: Summer or winter? Summer. But love all seasons. Heck, just give me any seasons. I live in a land with no seasons.
46: Hugs or kisses? Kisses are more exciting, but hugs are more available and socially acceptable, and I will definitely take what I can get. I’m all for more hugging.
47. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. I do love vanilla, too, though.

48. Do you want your friends to email you back? Sure
49. When was the last time you cried? I don’t remember, but I can bet that it was at something sappy rather than meaningful.

50. What is under your bed? A large quantity of furry white dust bunnies, courtesy of aforementioned Kiko, the Eskie dog.

51.Who is the friend you have had the longest? Julie W., who works at the Grove Park Inn.
52. Favorite smell? My five-year-old’s neck
53. What are you afraid of? Something bad happening to someone I love
54. Plain, butter or salted popcorn? Salted with lots of butter. And that is real butter, thankyouverymuch. Not the icky stuff they serve in movie theaters.
55. How many keys on your key ring?
Four. Used to be five, but hubby washed his high-tech fancy-shmancy Mercedes key in the laundry, so he took mine.

56. How many years at your current job? Four. I am a freelance writer. But right now I am not bringing in enough dough, so I am thinking of taking on extra work as a virtual assistant—a sort of secretary who works out of sight. I’m looking into it right now—I already have the qualification, just don’t know exactly how to go about getting into it. But if I don’t start bringing in some better money soon, my hubby will push me into getting a 9-to-5—so I gotta get moving!

57. Favorite day of the week? Saturday—the whole weekend is ahead!
58. How many towns have you lived in? 11. All over the world, from Carpinteria, California to Okayama City, Japan. I’ve been around a bit.

59. Do you make friends easily? Very easily, but I do not keep them as easily. In fact, I would admit, I have few friends around me. Most are in North Carolina.
60. How many people will you be sending this to? Probably only one or two.

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